Everton v Birmingham Preview

Everton could have selection problems in midfield for the game against Birmingham. David Moyes has injury worries over Mikel Arteta and Leon Osman, while Tim Cahill is out for the season. Arteta has been struggling this week with a niggling abdominal injury that has been hampering him for some time. And Osman, the scorer of the winning goal in last week’s win over Derby, has picked up a hip injury in training. Neither player is definitely ruled out though, and Moyes will make late checks on their condition ahead of the game.

David Moyes told evertonfc.com: “He (Arteta) has got an injury and he has been playing with it, so we are grateful for that. “I think it has restricted him a bit and he feels it is dragging his performances down a little bit.
“Leon Osman has got a hip injury,” continued Moyes. “We have been short of midfield players, it’s been a problem area for us and we have used people in there out of position.
“Jack Rodwell has been in the squad and Dan Gosling has been injured for a month or so, so those two young boys would certainly be in and around the squad. And if required I’d have no problem playing them.”

It will be the 57th meeting between the clubs at St. Andrews, our record is:

P56 W22 D16 L18 F80 A78

This is the first meeting between the two managers.

We have won the last two meetings at St Andrew’s 1-0, thanks to goals by Thomas Gravesen in November 2004 and Simon Davies 12 months later. We recorded a 3-1 victory at Goodison earlier in the season, with goals by Yakubu, Carsley and Vaughan.

Birmingham have won just three out of the last 46 meetings between the two clubs going back to 1959, with the last being 3-0 at St Andrews in February 2004.

If we win on Saturday it will be our 7th league ‘double’ of the season, the most since the 1984/85 season and our 30th victory of the season in all competitions, the most in a single campaign since 1985/86.

We are still the only side without a penalty award in the Premier League this season – Manchester City were also without a spot-kick until they were awarded their first of the campaign at St Andrew’s two weeks ago. The last time we went a full season without being awarded a league penalty was 1970-71.

Everton have conceded 14 away goals in the league this season, clean sheets in the last two matches will set a new club record for the fewest conceded in a campaign, with the previous best being 15 in 1969/70.

If we win on Saturday it will be our 9th away win in the league - the best since the 1986/87 season and our 16th away win for the season, only one behind the record set in 1984/85.

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